tough act to follow

a tough act to follow

Someone or something so exemplary that it overshadows anything that follows. I don't know how Mel's replacement will be received by the staff. He was so admired and respected that he'll be a tough act to follow. That award-winning play will be a tough act to follow on Broadway.
See also: act, follow, tough

tough act to follow

 and hard act to follow
Fig. a difficult presentation or performance to follow or improve upon with one's own performance. Bill's speech was excellent. It was a tough act to follow, but my speech was good also. In spite of the fact that I had a tough act to follow, I did my best.
See also: act, follow, tough
References in periodicals archive ?
ANDY King admits Ryan Giggs has a tough act to follow as he prepares to name his first Wales squad today, but believes the Manchester United great can guide the Dragons to further success.
Harris will be a tough act to follow, and Walker will be a tough competitor to beat, although both cast controversial votes in favor of state income tax increases.
She will be a tough act to follow, but Alison Munro is another experienced local campaigner and I'm delighted she will be standing in May.
With the massive success of 'Starting Over Again', it is surely a tough act to follow, but Pascual and Gonzaga assured the viewers that the story of 'Last Night' is way different from their first project.
It will be a tough act to follow next term, but Farrell said: "Hopefully, this is just the start for us.
ANDY Sullivan admits he has a tough act to follow as he looks to build on a brilliant 2015 campaign which brought three wins and secured a Masters debut.
The new owners will have a tough act to follow (See Letter, Hard act to follow)Picture: ANDREW TEEBAY
Mrs Hughes said: "Liz will be a tough act to follow, but I look forward to the challenge, and I'm keen to make my mark within my locality.
It'll be a tough act to follow, unlike the job of the judges, which is to be driven about from cafe to cafe (ie, ice-cream to ice-cream) in the company of some of the most fabulous gals I've ever had the pleasure to share a knickerbocker glory with.
Last year's show, celebrating the Disney princesses, was always going to be a tough act to follow, but I'd say this year's possibly surpasses it, and it certainly held more appeal for the boys as well as the girls this time.
JAMES HENDERSON has a tough act to follow in Ralph Topping - the bookmaking equivalent of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson.
We've learned a lot from our visit, especially that we have a tough act to follow after the magnifi-cent show put on by the organisers in Copenhagen," said Nigel Roberts, chairman of the Cardiff Half Marathon local organising committee.
And they soon realised he was a tough act to follow.
India, playing their first match since the one-day retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, made 228 for six and the 'Little Master' proved a predictably tough act to follow.
Danny Boyle's opening ceremony was always going to be a tough act to follow, but what did we get?